For nearly four hundred years the Bridgeman family (latterly the Earls of Bradford) played a notable role in the development of the Lancashire town of Bolton. During this time Bolton grew from being a small town to become – by virtue of its manufacture of textiles – a key player in the industrial revolution. In time, mining and engineering companies also came to the fore – as well as the aerospace and IT sectors, mainstays now of the local economy.
This exhibition will explore – in photographs and stories, old and new – the vital role of the Bridgemans as lords of the manor of Great Lever in Bolton, the vigorous support they gave to shaping the town, and the numerous decisions taken by them affecting economic and social change. Aspects such as the management of their estate, the spread of roads, railways, factories, coalmines, churches, and parks will be illustrated – all developments of great mutual benefit to both the borough and to the family itself.
A significant element in this exhibition will be colourful artwork created by the Bishop Bridgeman Primary School (Bolton). Bishop Bridgeman was the original owner of the Great Lever estate, and now, on this same site today, 400 years on, the school and the children reflect on his legacy.
Supporters of the exhibition:
The Earl of Bradford
The Provincial Walsh Trust for Bolton
Mr William Morgan Esq